Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

very good
65 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Overlord on 12-22-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 75
Photo of smttycty
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully poured into my SABL glass this "Ale on Lees" still poured murky, but this bottle was fresh from the store and had no time to settle. Still, a little yeast suspension has never been a problem for me. It wasn't cloudy enough not to notice a whole lot of effervescence going on. The ice tea colored body danced under a buff, creamy 2F crown. By the end of my aroma therapy session the head had dropped, though a sturdy cap stuck around to the end, and left long legs of viscous lacing.

A bold nose wafted up invitingly: clovey apricot jam on warm doughy bread, saison-like sweet moss, and hints of vanilla custard and banana. The Belgium-style earthy/fruity esters transferred to the tongue immediately. When the sweet malt came in, the lively carbonation made me think of root beer. The alcohol warming was subtle. The finish was mildly bitter, bordering on sour apple, but it didn't linger long. The carbonation was lively without being sharp with a perfect medium body.

Overall an expressive, nicely crafted beer in the Abbey style. The 9% ABV is nicely hidden in the complexities found here, but the finish of this youthful ale may be it's only weakness. I'm sure the bottles aging in my celler will result in a better report in the future.

 1,253 characters

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml into a Ommegang chalice. Pours a mud brown with amber highlights. Lots of bubbles running to the surface.

S- Not a strong nose. Dark malts with fruity notes

T- Definitely a dubbel. Dark malts at the first sip. With an after taste a bit more bitter than the taste when it is in your mouth. Some fruity and floral notes also. Probably from the belgian yeast.

M- Too carbonated. I burp after almost every sip.

D- Good dubbel for being a Trader Joes brand. I know Unibroue makes it and I think you can tell that in the flavor.

 550 characters

Photo of sinistermadman
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, almost brown copper with a sizeable, dense creamy head. Head retention is quite respectable in my Unibroue tulip. Aroma is sharp with fermented fruit, yeast, spicy alcohol notes and sugar coming to mind.

Taste is of malt and ripened fruit coupled with a slightly astringent, bitter mouthfeel. The flavor profile is mostly at the onset, and then transitions to a nondescript, very mellow ending. Medium to slight body. Not as distinguished as a standard Unibroue offering, although I’m not sure they offer a dubbel to do an apples-to-apples comparo. Still, this was cheap enough that I can't really complain. Worth a try.

 641 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know the bottle says its a dubbel but I think it had some brown ale characteristics. In any case, the beer was a nice dark brown color with a moderate haziness to it. The head was tall and white but disapeared quickly leaving no lacing behind. There was a good amount of carbonation but not too much.

The smell was of caramel malts, sugar, and yeast. Pretty nice aroma, still young though. The flavor was very enjoyable. Here is where you can see the brown ale qualities that I mentioned. Picture a belgian pale ale mixed with a english brown ale and a slight hop bitterness. I think its better than the 2006 but they are both quite good.

The body is medium/light and thats alright. It is a very smooth and drinkable beer, I intend to age a few of these for the next couple years.

 784 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruddy brown with a too quickly disappearing head.

Huge coriander aromas mingle with rich yeast notes in the aroma.

Sweet and slightly tart up front, round out into a nice, caramel sweetness. Some spice apparent on the back of the tongue.

A nice beer overall. Would have liked to have seen more head and lace, but a very balanced, drinkable beer nonetheless.

 366 characters

Photo of boognish523
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bought this at Trader Joes for 4.99.
poured into a duvel tulip glass.

A: dark brown with a large yet light head

S: honey, and perfumely, a bit strong on the alcohol smell.

T: sweet, hoppy

M: light, thin/watery

D:Not my favorite of the Unibroue selection, but not too bad for the price.

 290 characters

Photo of Gump
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gotta thank my brother-in-law for turning me on to this one.
My first year for this annual beer. I plan to revisit again next holiday season. $5 for a 750ml. I will definitely go back for more.

Pours brown. The definition of brown. Plenty of carbonation creates an airy, foamy head to fill half the glass.
Flowery, fruit blossom aroma. Similar to some other Unibroue I've had. Perfectly balanced mouthfeel.

 407 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I think fairly highly of Trader Joe's, I'm still impressed they got Unibroue to brew this for them. The color is a deep, multicolored brown with orange striping. Head is strong at first but soon diminishes to a cap. Nose is lightly spiced and sweet with dark malt and some faint fruits.

Nicely balanced with plenty malt and fruit and a minimum of spice. A clean finish and understated alcohol presence are positive attributes. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a dubbel but the carbonation compensates somewhat.

This is a solid, if unspectacular Belgian and definitely the best of the TJ line. However, when you throw affordability next to quality, this is suddenly a much more attractive option.

 710 characters

Photo of jneiswender
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A--Nice black walnut color. Beige head that stays around awhile. Not very much lacing like other dubbels.

s--clove aroma. Cooking sugar scent.

t--Toffee like flavor. Strong alcohol burn on the way down.

m--medium body.

d--not bad representation of the style. Pretty straighforward. Nothing extraordinary.

Much better examples out there.

 342 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$4.99 @ Trader Joe's (Of course)

A-Deep rusty brown in chalice, but a murky lighter body appears in the light. White head full of tiny carbonation and not much lacing.

S-Wonderful complexity with the signature Unibroue yeast. Notes of raisin, brown sugar, corriander, and lemongrass. A slight booziness appears, but makes for a wonderful bouquet of flavors.

T-Deep flavors of carmelized sugar and dark fruits. The yeast creates wonderful spices and the mellow hops are subtle, but known. Wonderful mollases-like swallow and aftertaste.

M-Mouthfeel is full of flavor, but a bit thin in places. The 9% is warming, but not easily detected.

D-I could drink just about anything from Unibroue all the time and this one fits in the mix. Another knock-out at a phenomenal cost.

 775 characters

Photo of AlexJ
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chestnut with garnet highlights and a lovely beige head that laces beautifully as it slowly drops to a thick curtain. Looks top notch in my Lucifer goblet.

Aroma is decidedly Unibrou, dark sweet malt, tons of dark fruit, spicey yeasy, and hints of musty, earthy dryness.

Flavor begins moderately sweet, with dark fruit poached in spiced caramel. It softens with hints of leather and tobacco and as it warms the spice presents itself in the way of clove, allspice, and hints of ginger. Bottle says brewed w/ 4 spices, wonder what they actually are. There is no trace of the 9% abv, making this dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel is soft, very slick and slippery and feels smooth on the tongue. Could use just a bit more body though. Scary drinkability for a $5 750. Time to stock up!

 788 characters

Photo of InsolublePancake
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep, murky brown with a decent off-white head (I need to come up with a better color than off-white. Ocher, perhaps? Ecru?) and some decent lacing.

S- Great yeasty aromas with soft clove and ripe banana. A sweet melon-like fruitiness is also present. Very pleasant smell.

T- The yeast character dominates the taste also (not that that's necessarily a bad thing). I'm not sure if spices were added to this beer, but it almost tastes like they were with a distinct cinnamon-like character in the flavor. Malt sweetness, clove and banana, and an apple skin tartness come through in the taste. The finish is fairly dry and consists of a moderate hop bitterness and chalky yeast.

M- Medium bodied and well-carbonated; decent mouthfeel for the style.

D- The 9% ABV is hidden well, but it does come through a little as the beer warms. This beer's drinkability is pretty good, but it's not one that should be drunk frequently or in mass quantities.

This is a very solid beer from Trader Joe's. Great deal, too. I'll always be up for a quality Belgian-style ale for less than five bucks. I'd be surprised at its quality if I didn't know it was brewed by Unibroue, but with that information in hand, I am not. I'd say it's worth stocking up on due to its great value. Give it a try if you like Belgians. Recommended.

 1,315 characters

Photo of TheLiterati
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid seasonal offering from Unibroue, bottled forTrader Joe's. I have yet to try anything from this Quebec stalwart that isn't good, so this comes as no surprise.

Pours a lovely reddish-brown with a nice, long-lasting, beige-colored Belgian lacing.

Smells of raisins and dates, with perhaps a bit of clove. Has caramel and yeast undertones.

The taste echos the aroma in every way - fruit, caramel and yeast - with a nice malty balance that makes for a rich, creamy composition that is smooth and perfectly carbonated.

A very nice seasonal beer, and one I will continue to look forward to in years to come.

 620 characters

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased at Trader Joe's in Brookline, MA. A: Slightly cloudy dark amber, lots of head initially that goes down pretty quickly. S: Lots of malt and yeast, some darker fruit. T: Very sweet. Again, lots of malt. Caramel/toffee sweetness, very very slightly bitter on the finish. Maybe a little raspberries or strawberries in there. M: Very crisp, effervescent, crisp. D: Overall I'm really enjoying it. The light, coarse quality of the beer, along with its blanket sweetness, makes it a pretty interesting Dubbel. I actually didn't really it was a dubbel until I saw the style designation on BA. This is the first Trader Joe Vintage ale I've tried, I'll definitely be picking it up again. ESPECIALLY at a $4.99 sticker price.

 738 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to see this on the shelves today, as I enjoyed the 2006 vintage. This beer, while bottled under the Trader Joe's label, is still brewed/produced by Unibroue, a Quebec brewery that remains one of my faves.

Pours a murky orange-ish amber with a big, big white head. The carbonation immediately startles you. I didn't realize this was a Dubbel right off, and was surprised to discover that was the beer style. I would have guessed, perhaps, Belgian strong pale ale... but they usually aren't this bubbly either. Remains well carbonated throughout, although the head does disappear rather quickly. The back of the bottle isn't lying about the "champagne effervescence", this brew's mouthfeel is a lot lighter than the heavy ABV would lead you to expect. Not really Dubbel-esque, but kind of a hybrid. Clearly they were experimenting here.

The smell, and taste, is heavy with malts and yeast. In a blind taste test, I'm pretty confident I could pick this out as a Unibroue; something about their yeast component is really distinctive. This a very sweet beer. There's almost no roasted/bitter/sour hop tones to it. There's a hint of chocolate, some cherries (not sour), citrus (orange?)/pine, and maybe even grapes. I'm not good at picking out spices, but there's a few in here. Unfortunately, they are somewhat of an off-note ... in fact, the spice content most reminds me of Stone's rare failure (IMHO): the 070707 Vertical Epic. I've knocked the taste score down a notch, as I just didn't care for the spice aftertaste.

This is the rare beer in which I've rated the smell higher than the taste (I think I've done that twice in my entire BeerAdvocate reviewing career). It's both exotic and laden with promise that the beer nearly delivers.

A good, solid beer. Pretty unique. I don't think I'll ever see a Dubbel with this type of carbonation/sweet component ever again.

 1,878 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.